Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

Three cheers for our own Ciel Downing, who recently had a short story accepted to the prestigious Timberline Review magazine. Ciel has been focusing on her writing in retirement and penned a piece about how she came by her Blackfoot Native American name. She has also been nominated for the Kay Snow award in writing for that same story. This award is given to the winner of an annual writing contest sponsored by the Willamette Writers, and its name recognizes the group’s founder, Kay Snow. The purpose of the competition is to help writers reach their professional goals and to encourage new authors. We wish Ciel continued good luck on the writing front.

There is a new sign off the Cape Meares Loop Road that marks the upper trail to the Cape Meares lighthouse. The sign reads: (Cape Meares) Nascowitzen Trail. The community was buzzing about that, so here’s the scoop. Dave Audet and Ciel Downing correctly informed us via Nextdoor, our neighborhood social media site, that Nascowitzen is the Native American name for Cape Meares. As for the name Cape Meares itself, originally Cape Lookout and Cape Meares were lumped together as Cape Lookout, per “Oregon Native Place Names in the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Part 2,” by Dr. David Lewis. He wrote that Lewis and Clarke likely saw the faces of both Cape Lookout and Cape Meares from Tillamook Head and gave them one name, Cape Lookout. Once it was understood there were really two capes, ours was renamed Cape Meares after British explorer John Meares, who charted this headland. That’s your history lesson for the day! And thank you to trail rider Josh who put up the beautiful wooden sign that sparked interest in this bit of local history.

Speaking of signs, many thanks to Bill Winter and Kathy Burke for sprucing up the City of Bay Ocean Park sign at the entrance to the dike road. It had unfortunately been a recent target of graffiti. Bill painted over the graffiti, which was on the back of the sign; Kathy helped finish cleaning the front of the sign; and they both worked on adding bright red trim around the sign. Great job, Bill and Kathy!

Bill Winter is in the news for another reason this week. I had heard that he had a story to tell about running his 50” remote control tugboat on Cape Meares Lake. I called him up to get the low-down. It turns out that he and his wife, Marcia, were on the dock at the lake, running the model boat in a lagoon created between the dock and the dike road. Bill heard a frog croaking and turned his head briefly to check that out; when he turned back, he saw a big bald eagle 10 feet in front of the toy tugboat and six feet above the water, flaring its wings as it took off. The eagle had dived on Bill’s boat! The boat is mostly white with a green pilot house on top; perhaps the eagle mistook it for a mallard duck? What a disappointment for the eagle—and good luck for Bill.


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